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Friday
24 October, 2014


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With the release of openSUSE 13.2 in November, two of openSUSE’s open-source projects, the ‘Tumbleweed’ and ‘Factory’ rolling releases will be merging, and offered as a single openSUSE rolling release under the name ‘Tumbleweed’

Factory will remain the name of the development process where openSUSE’s new developments are integrated, with the tested, user-ready rolling release assuming the name Tumbleweed from Nov. 4.

“With the release of openSUSE 13.2 due in November, we realised this was a perfect opportunity to merge our two openSUSE rolling-releases together so users of Tumbleweed can benefit from the developments to our Factory development process over the last few years,” said Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE board. “The combined feedback and contributions from our combined Tumbleweed and Factory users should help keep openSUSE rolling forward even faster, while offering our users the latest and greatest applications on a stable rolling release.”

Technical details for existing Factory and Tumbleweed users will be published closer to Nov. 4 to explain what steps need to be carried out to smoothly migrate to the new ‘combined’ Tumbleweed rolling release.

“The changes to the Factory release model have changed it from being an unstable development codebase into the type of rolling release I set out to create when starting openSUSE Tumbleweed,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Kernel Developer and creator of openSUSE Tumbleweed. “I’m very happy to see these two rolling releases coming together under the name Tumbleweed, and am looking forward to watching how it develops in the future.”

Establishing Factory as the clear ‘development project’ for the ‘ready-to-use’ Tumbleweed rolling release clarifies Factory’s role as a development codebase for openSUSE software, alongside Tumbleweed as user-ready distribution with rolling, tested updates, Brown said.


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While ago new version 3.19 of UnReal World RPG was released. It was very smooth release in my part. Everything was working as expected. Packages were build to several platforms that were planned. Those platforms were Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, 14.04 and openSUSE 12.2,12.3,13.1 all there packages build from openSUSE 13.1 base distribution. Nobody found nothing to complain about binary packages before someone launched them on Arch distribution.

Good, Bad and Ugly CURL

Curl is nice library for transferring anything from anywhere that have some kind of protocol over internet. It’s been stable for ages and have nice programming interface. So we thought this is easy new dependency for URW. We should know better.

User installed Ubuntu deb package and tried to launch URW in Arch received error  that was:

/usr/lib/libcurl.so.4: version `CURL_OPENSSL_3' not found

Ok very nice and constructive error message. What to do? This in the dark side of Linux knowledge. If you search from web what this means you will notice there is plenty of packages that suffers from this. mostly they are proprietary like URW and build to work with Ubuntu and don’t work with Arch. It has something to do with openSSL and how old it is but that is far I debugged it.

ARGH ARCH!

So I installed Arch Virtualbox and started to research on this. So how to find it there ‘CURL_OPENSSL_3‘ in libcurl.so.4 or not. use ‘strings’ command (now you should say, “elementary dear Watson”, so you you don’t look stupid).

strings /usr/lib/libcurl.so.4 | grep CURL_OPENSSL_3

And no there is nothing with that name but

strings /usr/lib/libcurl.so.4 | grep CURL_OPENSSL_

Gives a shot. There is ‘CURL_OPENSSL_4‘ so what to do? You can’t do nothing if you don’t get very hazardous. You can sed ‘CURL_OPENSSL_4‘  to ‘CURL_OPENSSL_3‘ but there is no promises it will work and it’s not very convenient.

You can get Ubuntu deb, extract curl.so out of it and use LD_LIBRARY_PATH-variable (how to do that?  or use OpenSUSE version of URW that works out-of-the-box.

Nor of them is very elegant. Probably we’ll have to start building Arch package also because that is most elegant version of this.

 


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That's what I saw today after trying to update Notes:


Not cool, that didn't seem to work too well. This can happen with third-party apps. But what to do? Just like with upgrades, you can call in the help of the occ command line tool which comes with ownCloud. Ideally, run it as user of your apache, something like this:
sudo -u wwwrun ./occ
It will give you an overview of what occ can do for you, looking something like this:
ownCloud version 7.0.2

Usage:
[options] command [arguments]

Options:
--help -h Display this help message.
--quiet -q Do not output any message.
--verbose -v|vv|vvv Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug
--version -V Display this application version.
--ansi Force ANSI output.
--no-ansi Disable ANSI output.
--no-interaction -n Do not ask any interactive question.


And a lot more.
From there, you can start an upgrade with:
sudo -u wwwrun ./occ upgrade
which is nice when the ownCloud upgrade process doesn't work. This can happen because php has a time-out set and if the amount of work takes longer than that timeout - it won't finish. Which can happen for example on very big installations, or on very light hardware (raspberry pi!).
But that wasn't my problem - things just got stuck in maintenance mode. And that is one of the options in the list: turn maintenance mode on and off! So I just proceeded (on advice of Arthur here in the office) to turn that off:
sudo -u wwwrun ./occ maintenance:mode --off
Lo and behold, it solved the problem for me.
If it doesn't, there is the maintenance:repair option which might fix the problem for you!

Tip: log rotation

In other news, I discovered that my owncloud.log file (to be found in your data folder) was 5.9 gigabytes big. Yeah, 6318901632 bytes. ownCloud can keep that file in check, but you have to enable that by adding the following to your config.php:
'log_rotate_size' => '100 MiB'
Of course, other values work, too. You can find this and more in config.sample.php, be sure to go over that file to see what you can and perhaps should configure. I personally would welcome any effort to give that file a user interface, or make it easier to reach - even with a text editor built into the admin UI... Although perhaps a more subtle approach of picking what should be visible or not would be better. In any case - anybody up for that?

Tim Serong: Watching Grass Grow

08:07 UTCmember

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For Hackweek 11 I thought it’d be fun to learn something about creating Android apps. The basic training is pretty straightforward, and the auto-completion (and auto-just-about-everything-else) in Android Studio is excellent. So having created a “hello world” app, and having learned something about activities and application lifecycle, I figured it was time to create something else. Something fun, but something I could reasonably complete in a few days. Given that Android devices are essentially just high res handheld screens with a bit of phone hardware tacked on, it seemed a crime not to write an app that draws something pretty.

openSUSE wallpaperThe openSUSE desktop wallpaper, with its happy little Geeko sitting on a vine, combined with all the green growing stuff outside my house (it’s spring here) made me wonder if I couldn’t grow a little vine jungle on my phone, with many happy Geekos inhabiting it.

Android has OpenGL ES, so thinking that might be the way to go I went through the relevant lesson, and was surprised to see nothing on the screen where there should have been a triangle. Turns out the view is wrong in the sample code. I also realised I’d probably have to be generating triangle strips from curvy lines, then animating them, and the brain cells I have that were once devoted to this sort of graphical trickery are so covered in rust that I decided I’d probably be better off fiddling around with beziers on a canvas.

So, I created an app with a SurfaceView and a rendering thread which draws one vine after another, up from the bottom of the screen. Depending on Math.random() it extends a branch out to one side, or the other, or both, and might draw a Geeko sitting on the bottom most branch. Originally the thread lifecycle was tied to the Activity (started in onResume(), killed in onPause()), but this causes problems when you blank the screen while the app is running. So I simplified the implementation by tying the thread lifecycle to Surface create/destroy, at the probable expense of continuing to chew battery if you blank the screen while the app is active.

Then I realised that it would make much more sense to implement this as live wallpaper, rather than as a separate app, because then I’d see it running any time I used my phone. Turns out this simplified the implementation further. Goodbye annoying thread logic and lifecycle problems (although I did keep the previous source just in case). Here’s a screenshot:

Geeko Live Wallpaper

The final source is on github, and I’ve put up a release build APK too in case anyone would like to try it out – assuming of course that you trust me not to have built a malicious binary, trust github to host it, and trust SSL to deliver it safely ;-)

Enjoy!


Thursday
23 October, 2014


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Since the introduction of P-States in the Intel SandyBridge and newer processors and the introduction of the P-States driver in the kernel since 3.9 there have been some changes to the power management on systems in regards to userspace tools. It has moved from cpufreq to cpupower and you may have written a script in times past to help set the right power management governor for your system. On a system with P-States you find that using cpupower has no effect on the performance whatsoever when you change the governor with cpupower. In order to get high performance out of your system with P-States you will need to look at some parameters into sysfs and change them using the userspace tool cpupower. Lets have a look at what there is for P-States.

Change your directory to /sys/devices/system/cpu/intel_pstate

system:/sys/devices/system/cpu/intel_pstate # l
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    0 Oct 21 18:45 ./
drwxr-xr-x 14 root root    0 Oct 21 18:45 ../
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4096 Oct 21 18:45 max_perf_pct
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4096 Oct 21 18:45 min_perf_pct
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4096 Oct 21 18:45 no_turbo
We have the max_perf_pct and the min_perf_pct and if we cat these files we can see their values.
# cat max_perf_pct
100
# cat min_perf_pct
32
This is the default for a powersave governor which you can gather from running the following command.
# cpupower frequency-info
  analyzing CPU 0:
  driver: intel_pstate
  CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0
  CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
  maximum transition latency: 0.97 ms.
  hardware limits: 1.20 GHz - 3.70 GHz
  available cpufreq governors: performance, powersave
  current policy: frequency should be within 1.20 GHz and 3.70 GHz.
                  The governor "powersave" may decide which speed to use
                  within this range.
  current CPU frequency is 3.53 GHz (asserted by call to hardware).
  boost state support:
    Supported: yes
    Active: yes
    3500 MHz max turbo 4 active cores
    3500 MHz max turbo 3 active cores
    3600 MHz max turbo 2 active cores
    3700 MHz max turbo 1 active cores
Notice the driver is intel_pstate and the current policy is set to powersave

We want the performance governor. So we will need to change our governor to performance. Execute the following.
# cpupower frequency-set -g performance

# cpupower frequency-info
analyzing CPU 0:
  driver: intel_pstate
  CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0
  CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
  maximum transition latency: 0.97 ms.
  hardware limits: 1.20 GHz - 3.70 GHz
  available cpufreq governors: performance, powersave
  current policy: frequency should be within 1.20 GHz and 3.70 GHz.
                  The governor "performance" may decide which speed to use
                  within this range.
  current CPU frequency is 2.83 GHz (asserted by call to hardware).
  boost state support:
    Supported: yes
    Active: yes
    3500 MHz max turbo 4 active cores
    3500 MHz max turbo 3 active cores
    3600 MHz max


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One of the things that has always been a bit of a struggle in Firefox for Android is getting reliable video decoding for H264. For a couple of years, we've been shipping an implementation that went through great heroics in order to use libstagefright directly. While it does work fine in many cases, we consistently get reports of videos not playing, not displayed correctly, or just crashing.

In Android 4.1, Google added the MediaCodec class to the SDK. This provides a blessed interface to the underlying libstagefright API, so presumably it will be far more reliable. This summer, my intern Martin McDonough worked on adding a decoding backend in Firefox for Android that uses this class. I expected him to be able to get something that sort of worked by the end of the internship, but he totally shocked me by having video on the screen inside of two weeks. This included some time spent modifying our JNI bindings generator to work against the Android SDK. You can view Martin's intern presentation on Air Mozilla.

While the API for MediaCodec seems relatively straightforward, there are several details you need to get right or the whole thing falls apart. Martin constantly ran into problems where it would throw IllegalStateException for seemingly no valid reason. There was no error message or other explanation in the exception. This made development pretty frustrating, but he fought through it. It looks like Google has improved both the documentation and the error handling in the API as of Lollipop, so that's good to see.

As Martin wrapped up his internship he was working on handling the video frames as output by the decoder. Ideally you would get some kind of sane YUV variation, but this often is not the case. Qualcomm devices frequently output in their own proprietary format, OMX_QCOM_COLOR_FormatYUV420PackedSemiPlanar64x32Tile2m8ka. You'll notice this doesn't even appear in the list of possibilities according to MediaCodecInfo.CodecCapabilities. It does, however, appear in the OMX headers, along with a handful of other proprietary formats. Great, so Android has this mostly-nice class to decode video, but you can't do anything with the output? Yeah. Kinda. It turns out we actually have code to handle this format for B2G, because we run on QC hardware there, so this specific case had a possible solution. But maybe there is a better way?

I know from my work on supporting Flash on Android that we use a SurfaceTexture there to render video layers from the plugin. It worked really well most of the time. We can use that with MediaCodec too. With this output path we don't ever see the raw data; it goes straight into the Surface attached to the SurfaceTexture. You can then composite it with OpenGL and the crazy format conversions are done by the GPU. Pretty nice! I think handling all the different YUV conversions would've been a huge source of pain, so I was happy to eliminate that entire


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For years when I needed to search for something in 'vim', I would use the '/' command and type the search key. Usually this would be inefficient, because I would be typing the name of a function that was right there on the screen (sometimes I would use the mouse to copy-and-paste to save a few keystrokes, taxing my brain with yet another keyboard/mouse context switch and exacerbating my "mouse finger" syndrome). Imagine my surprise to learn that Vim has a '*' command to search for whatever word happens to be under the cursor! And then there are the 'n' and 'N' commands which search forwards and backwards, respectively, for the last search key.
Read more »


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openSUSE 13.2 comes with the latest and greatest that the GNOME desktop has to offer — GNOME 3.14. At the time of the release 13.2 offers GNOME 3.14.1, which improves upon the user-experience of GNOME 3.10, that came with openSUSE 13.1, several notches, featuring notably a much improved gnome-shell with pretty-but-subtle animations and multi-touch gestures for the first time. The core applications have all seen remarkable activity during the development of 3.14 (and earlier, 3.12), focused on exciting features but also to make the desktop experience more unified and consistent.

Activities overview

Video player

Evince, Notes, Font viewer

 

 

GNOME Shell

Calculator in the GNOME shell search

Calculator in the GNOME shell search

At the heart of the GNOME experience is the much improved GNOME Shell, handling such trifle as launching applications, switching between windows and workspaces with the grace of a ballet dancer. Gnome-shell, available at version 3.14.1 with openSUSE 13.2, has picked up the ability to respond to multi-touch gestures, including on touchscreens, to open the Activities overview, applications overview and message tray, and to switch between windows and workspaces. In addition, this latest version of the shell features a host of pretty-but-subtle animations that make working inside GNOME a real pleasure.

Typing in a search term in the gnome-shell’s activities overview now gives results for matching files, documents, notes, contacts, photos… and even features inline calculations (just type in 22/7 and see for yourself)!

The applications overview now lists “Sundry” and “Utility” applications in app-folders making the full list of applications less crowded and easier to navigate. In an openSUSE-special touch, the YaST modules are all classed into an app-folder of its own, making it straightforward to launch any YaST module straight from the shell.

Header-bars aka Client side window decorations

The support for header-bars, that nifty combination of window-header and toolbar in one screen real-estate saving gem, which started with 3.10 (so you should have seen a glimpse of this in openSUSE 13.1 already) has proliferated into all major applications. Core applications such as text-editor GEdit, Notes, eps/pdf viewer Evince, Music, Documents all benefit from this development. In addition header-bars have also picked up touchscreen support, so where one could not previously move windows with header-bars around by touch, this is now possible.

Is that a brand new video player?

Video player showing Apple Movie Trailers straight from the web

Video player showing Apple Movie Trailers straight from the web

No, it is still totem, for long GNOME’s default media player in openSUSE. Except now, in it’s 3.14 incarnation it has been completely revamped, now showing a list of videos in your home directory when launched and allowing you to switch to a list of online video channels at the touch of a button. The playback controls are now presented as a floating toolbar that automatically hides when you don’t need it, allowing the currently playing video


Wednesday
22 October, 2014


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Moto 360 image

I must admit, I'm actually really happy with the Moto360. After reading a load of reviews and speaking to people that already had the device, I was fully prepared for a subpar experience. Maybe that's the beauty of not being a bleeding edge early adopter :-)

The woes that were extolled were many, and the only good thing people had to say were about the stunning good looks; battery life was woeful, not even lasting a day; performance was hit and miss; connectivity to phone was spotty; the list goes on, one almost wonders why on earth I would still want one. As it happens, both Google and Motorola have been fairly quick with updates to the device. Android Wear is still exceptionally young, having only been released at Google I/O this summer, but has already had at least two significant updates.

I've not had any connectivity issues between my Moto360 and my Nexus5, not once has my watch been unable to either connect to the internet or drop the connection. People complained that the vibration for notification was too weak. Seriously?! If it was any stronger my arm would shake as if I was suffering from some serious withdrawal symptoms. I genuinely find the vibration just right, strong enough to be certain it was a genuine notificationa and not a phantom notification as a result of my stomach rumbling because I craved something to eat. I'll be honest here, and those that know me won't be surprised at all by this statement, I'm not the most artistically observant person. Meaning I don't notice small variences in colour hues for icons and glyphs, I don't notice tiny pixelation, I don't notice things like Issue 41827, that is unless someone points it out to me and I look really hard. I may just see it then after a while, the Sad Santa thing took me quite a while to notice the difference.

After a full day of slightly above average usage (I ended up demoing it to my wife for a wee bit), I was left with 57% battery remaining - and that was before the latest update that purportedly improves battery life by upto 15%. Not bad considering many said it barely lasted half a day. I have managed to find one case where I was able to deplete the battery rather rapidly though, it is by no means disasterous as I was fully expecting battery to be impacted. That case was going for a 10km run using Endomondo, with active heart monitoring enabled. After an hour of exercise I had used 40% of my battery, as the screen was permanently on alongside the heart rate monitor taking a reading very regularily. Thankfully the watch charges pretty rapidly and within an hour I was back to a full battery. I love the fact that the Moto360 uses QI charging, which means I don't have to have the specific watch dock to


Frank Karlitschek: Ohio Linux Fest

21:52 UTCmember

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This Friday the Ohio Linux Fest kicks off in downtown Columbus and I’ll be there! It is my first Linux Fest in the US so I greatly look forward to being introduced in this grand tradition. Of course, I’ll be talking about ownCloud on Saturday the 25, from 13:00 to 14:00 room D142-143.

The title of the talk is “crushing data silos with ownCloud”: helping people liberate their data from the centralized services they have stored it on. I don’t think that a world where most of the personal data of the world is stored on servers of a hand full companies is a good one. ownCloud is, right now, the best way of getting out of that world!
The talk will also cover a few interesting new ideas that we want to do in ownCloud to build a fully federated and distributed solution in the future.

It would be awesome to do a small ownCloud and/or KDE meetup there.

If you’re going to be there – let me know! Find me on twitter and lots of other social services!


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Apple released Apple Pay yesterday with the iOS 8.1 update.  Randy and I went out at lunch to try it out and compare it to Google Wallet on his OnePlus One Android Phone.  We visited three locations: Maverik, McDonald's, and Macey's Grocery.  Both phones were able to make payments without any network connection however the Airplane mode on the OnePlus One also shut off the NFC radio.  The iPhone 6+ was able to pay even in Airplane mode.

Here are the steps to pay on the two phones:


Apple Pay
NFC Payments
  • Place the iPhone up to the payment terminal
  • Use Touch ID to authorize
  • Done
Google Wallet
  • Unlock your phone
  • Place your Phone up to the payment terminal
  • Enter your 4 digit Google Wallet PIN
  • Done

The steps above look about the same but what isn't mentioned there is it took a while to figure out how to make Google Wallet work.  If I were to write the steps it took the very first time we tried Google Wallet they would look like this:

Google Wallet (the first time)
  • Place the Phone up to the payment terminal
  • Wake the phone up and then try again
  • Unlock the phone and try again
  • Wave it around for a little bit hoping the people behind are not getting too upset
  • After a few seconds, finally enter your PIN in Google Wallet to unlock it
  • When no network is available, get a confusing message that sounds like the payment didn't work when in reality it did.  It was trying to tell you it cannot show the details yet because you are not connected, but it sounds more like the payment failed.
What's the point?

You may ask why even bother with the stuff?  Why is this easier than just using my credit card?  Last week I was mailed new credit cards.  I didn't ask for them but they were issued along with a letter about how Home Depot was compromised and these cards were sent to protect me.  Had I been using Apple Pay or Google Wallet every time I went to Home Depot, it wouldn't have mattered.

When you set up a credit card in Apple Pay a unique card number is generated that will only work with that iPhone, and only with your finger print.  When you shop at a store, the only number they get is the one generated for your phone.  To use that number someone would have to have your phone and your finger print.  When Home Depot or Target are compromised in the future, no useful information will exist on their insecure systems.

Look for the NFC Payments logo (above) and it's likely that you'll be able to pay using Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

-- Just a quick followup...  We went to lunch today at JCW's.  They had the NFC Payments symbol.  I was able to pay with Apple Pay.  Randy tried with Google Wallet and it wouldn't work.

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What a conference!!! openSUSE Asia Summit was unforgettable. The whole event had an amazing feel to it, and I had a rocking time in Beijing. openSUSE really has one of the best and most helpful communities, and the people are amazing. I had the pleasure of interacting with the active organization community. You guys absolutely rock!!!

Here are some of my experiences, and things I learned at the conference:

A little history:
The beginnings of the summit go back a year to Thessaloniki, where the idea of the Asia Summit was first mooted. Due to time constraints and clashes with openSUSE Summit in the US called for the event to be shifted to 2014. I had interacted with Sunny and Max in Thessaloniki and loved the idea of having an openSUSE event in Asia. At oSC14 in Dubrovnik, it was more or less confirmed that the summit would take place.

The Organization Team:
I joined the organization team a little late. The others had already done a lot of the hard work. I helped around a little with the invite letter and the promotion of the logo contest, and trying to find people to help around with the artwork. The opening session, where we welcomed the attendees in our native languages was cool. Also, Sunny’s speech in the beginning, which took us through the past one year was memorable, and I still remember each and every word of it.

I would take this opportunity to thank the openSUSE.Asia Summit
organization team. Today, now the openSUSE.Asia summit has started,
I’m reminded of the journey we took to get here.
I can not forget our weekly meetings, which often lasted to midnight.
I can’t forget 137 cards in trello for the preparation tracking.
And I can’t forget hundreds of emails about the Summit in our mail
boxes.

When we were on the way to reach this summit, we encouraged and
supported each other. Even though we were tired, we never gave up,
because we did believe we would finally be here. It is my honor being
a member of such a great team!

There are 17 people in the organization team, I won’t list everyone’s
name because we are a team, and we couldn’t have make any success
without each of us.

-Sunny

The organization committee did a fantastic job with the event and everything was planned to perfection. I would love to work with you all to host openSUSE Asia Summit next time as well (hopefully in India ;) )

New things:
I absolutely loved the concept of ‘Chops’ where the workshop speakers would put a lovely ‘Geeko’ stamp on the brochure for the participants for the performance in the workshop. More than judging the performance, it gave us a good chance to interact with the attendees and have a lot of fun in the process. The gifts for the speakers and for the chops were great and well thought out. Personally, working with


Tuesday
21 October, 2014


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I read an article today about how expensive the new iPhone 6 will be if you buy it off contract.  I admit, it's a lot of money but it's actually less money than what you'll pay if you buy it with a contract.

I recently switched back to AT&T from Verizon because they introduced a new plan called the Mobile Share Value plan that offers non-subsidized pricing if you own your phone.  There are two rates for each line on this plan. If you own your phone the rate is $15/month for the line.  If you buy a "contract price" phone that rate is $40/month for the line and you have a 2 year contract.


In case you didn't get that, they will charge you and extra $25/month for 2 years to pay for the rest of that phone.  Over 24 months that ends up being $600.
With that, here are the actual iPhone 6 Plus costs:

Contract Prices:
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB: $899
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB: $999
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB: $1099

Non-Contract Prices:
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB: $749
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB: $849
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB: $949 

The other thing to consider is with non-contract plans you don't have a 2 year contract.  I know that seems obvious but let me just say it once again... you don't have a 2 year contract.  You are free to terminate your service any time you want with no cancellation fees.


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The biggest part of this HackWeek will be spent on Weblate. The major task is to complete new UI for it. There have been already some blog posts about that here, so regular readers of my blog already know it is using Twitter Bootstrap.

Today it has reached point where I think it's good enough for wider testing and I've deployed it at Hosted Weblate (see Weblate website for conditions for getting hosting there).

I expect there will be some rough edges, so don't hesitate to report any issues, so that I can quickly fix them.

Filed under: English phpMyAdmin SUSE Weblate | 0 comments | Flattr this!


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hack weekHi everyone, I’m Doug! This is the beginning of my third week at openSUSE contributing to marketing and communications. It is great to be of the community. Everything here is new, and during my first week, I kept hearing people here talk about Hack Week.

Several thoughts of what Hack Week could be crossed my mind.

Having worked in government for several years, I associated hacking with bad people and bad intentions, which is why I thought I should visit the website and see what the hype was all about.

The ideas running through my head were way off.

I quickly learned Hack Week is about creating projects, being innovative and providing solutions for users, developers and industry. In other words, its an event openSUSE endorses to inspire people’s creativity and let them do something fun.

Most Popular Projects

One of the projects I saw on the website called “Using zypper to “upgrade” CentOS/RHEL to openSUSE/SLES” summed up the idea about Hack Week. This project is designed to take our package management tools and convert other Linux distributions to an openSUSE system.

Another project, lead by Vice President of Engineering for SUSE, Ralf Flaxa, that captured hackers’ attention was the SUSE Music(ian) Space project, which is about sharing knowledge on how to get music equipment to with with openSUSE.

The project I joined for Hack Week is the redesign of the openSUSE landing page. After the first day, the group has agreed on a page design and we are at the phase of creating prototype, which we plan to propose to the community for comments and feedback.

Hack Week is a great event and I’m excited to participate. Without hacking, innovation would stagnant, creativity would diminish. Happy Hacking!

 


Monday
20 October, 2014


Michal Čihař: Enca 1.16

08:00 UTC

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As a first tiny project in this HackWeek, Enca 1.16 has been just released. It mostly brings small code cleanups and missing aliases for languages, but fixes also some minor bugs found by Coverity Scan.

If you don't know Enca, it is an Extremely Naive Charset Analyser. It detects character set and encoding of text files and can also convert them to other encodings using either a built-in converter or external libraries and tools like libiconv, librecode, or cstocs.

Full list of changes for 1.16 release:

  • Fixed typo in Belarusian language name
  • Added aliases for Chinese and Yugoslavian languages

Still enca is in maintenance mode only and I have no intentions to write new features. However there is no limitation to other contributors :-).

You can download from http://cihar.com/software/enca/.

Filed under: Enca English SUSE | 0 comments | Flattr this!


Sunday
19 October, 2014


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Hey all! So in the continued effort to get the wiki ready for the next openSUSE release, I am going to ask all of you to help out and try to take some screenshots for the page. Basically, all you need to do is take screenshots for the parts listed on this page, upload them to the wiki and on this page replace the link to the 12.3 image to your new 13.2 image. Don’t forget to change the file description to 13.2 if it says 12.3! Eventually this page will be moved so that it replaces the current distro screenshot page.



Saturday
18 October, 2014


Pavel Machek: N900 nfs root

19:43 UTC

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So you'd like to develop on Nokia N900... It has serial port, but with "interesting" connector. It has keyboard, but with "interesting" keyboard map, you mostly need full X to be useful... and it is too small for serious typing, anyway. You could put root filesystem on SD card, but that is disconnected when back cover is removed. And with back cover in place, you can't reset the machine.

Ok, so NFS. Insecure, tricky to setup, but actually makes the development usable. I started with commit 4f3e8d263^ (because that should have working usb networking according to mailing lists).. and with config from same page. Disadvantage is that video does not work with that configuration... but setting up system blind should not be that hard, right?

Assemblying minimal system with busybox from so I could run second-stage of debootstrap was tricky, and hacking into the resulting debian was not easy, either, but now I have telnet connections and things should only improve.


Friday
17 October, 2014


Michael Meeks: 2014-10-17: Friday

22:12 UTCmember

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  • Early to rise; quick call, mail, breakfast; continued on slideware - really thrilled to use droidAtScreen to demo the LibreOffice on Android viewer.
  • Off to the venue in the coach; prepped slides some more, gave a talk - rather a hard act to follow at the end of the previous talk: a (male) strip-tease, mercifully aborted before it went too far. Presented my slides, informed by a few recent local discussions:
    Hybrid PDF of LibreOffice under-development slides
  • Quick lunch, caught up with mail, customer call, poked Neil & Daniel, continued catching up with the mail & interaction backlog.
  • Conference ended - overall an extremely friendly & positive experience, in a lovely location - most impressed by my first trip to Brazil; cudos to the organizers; and really great to spend some time with Eliane & Olivier on their home turf.

Thursday
16 October, 2014


Michael Meeks: 2014-10-16: Thursday

21:00 UTCmember

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  • To the venue, crazy handing out of collateral, various talks with people; Advisory Board call, LibreOffice anniversary Cake cutting and eating (by massed hordes).
  • It is extraordinary, and encouraging to see how many young ladies are at the conference, and (hopefully) getting engaged with Free Software: never seen so many at other conferences. As an unfortunate down-side: was amused to fobb off an un-solicited offer of marriage from a 15yr old: hmm.
  • Chewed some mail, bus back in the evening; worked on slides until late, for talk tomorrow.

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After about a year in the making for MimeKit and nearly 8 months for MailKit, they've finally reached 1.0 status.

I started really working on MimeKit about a year ago wanting to give the .NET community a top-notch MIME parser that could handle anything the real world could throw at it. I wanted it to run on any platform that can run .NET (including mobile) and do it with remarkable speed and grace. I wanted to make it such that re-serializing the message would be a byte-for-byte copy of the original so that no data would ever be lost. This was also very important for my last goal, which was to support S/MIME and PGP out of the box.

All of these goals for MimeKit have been reached (partly thanks to the BouncyCastle project for the crypto support).

At the start of December last year, I began working on MailKit to aid in the adoption of MimeKit. It became clear that without a way to inter-operate with the various types of mail servers, .NET developers would be unlikely to adopt it.

I started off implementing an SmtpClient with support for SASL authentication, STARTTLS, and PIPELINING support.

Soon after, I began working on a Pop3Client that was designed such that I could use MimeKit to parse messages on the fly, directly from the socket, without needing to read the message data line-by-line looking for a ".\r\n" sequence, concatenating the lines into a massive memory buffer before I could start to parse the message. This fact, combined with the fact that MimeKit's message parser is orders of magnitude faster than any other .NET parser I could find, makes MailKit the fastest POP3 library the world has ever seen.

After a month or so of avoiding the inevitable, I finally began working on an ImapClient which took me roughly two weeks to produce the initial prototype (compared to a single weekend for each of the other protocols). After many months of implementing dozens of the more widely used IMAP4 extensions (including the GMail extensions) and tweaking the APIs (along with bug fixing) thanks to feedback from some of the early adopters, I believe that it is finally complete enough to call 1.0.

In July, at the request of someone involved with a number of the IETF email-related specifications, I also implemented support for the new Internationalized Email standards, making MimeKit and MailKit the first - and only - .NET email libraries to support these standards.

If you want to do anything at all related to email in .NET, take a look at MimeKit and MailKit. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.


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I hope all who have been using the appliance are enjoying it and finding it useful. I felt it time to update the appliance to include patches to the latest known threats and critical updates to OpenStack.

Latest version 4.0.3

Changes from Github Project

  • Refreshed the Update Repositories to contain latest patches
  • Applied latest Updates to the Appliance
Direct Download links
Please visit the the landing page for the appliance to get more information and documentation here.
Some future things that are coming to look forward to. 
  • Incorporating an Installation media which includes the latest packages from the update repositories for SLES 11 SP3, High Availability Extension, and SUSE Cloud 4 OpenStack. This Installation media will allow me to exclude the full update repositories on the image and therefore reduce the size of the image to just under 2GB. 
  • Moving the build of the image over to openSUSE OBS (Open Build Service) to allow more rapid deployment and testing.
These things will allow for greater portability of the OpenStack software and inherent with it you can install anywhere. Install on VMware. Install on Virtual Box. Install on KVM. Install on Bare Metal. You can truly use this image to deploy and test it out on VMware or KVM, and from the same image you can use it to deploy a full production OpenStack on Bare Metal.  I have even used it to install and test OpenStack out on AWS. So go forth and enjoy installing OpenStack with ease. I challenge you to start using this appliance and see how easy it can be to setup and run OpenStack software. 

Jos Poortvliet: Release party time!

12:08 UTCmember

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KDE Plasma 5.1

Plasma 5.1 was released yesterday and it is looking real good. I have been running the 'next generation' Linux desktop on my laptop, courtesy of openSUSE packages made out of regular git snapshots. It was surprisingly stable so I have little worries about the stability of the final 5.1 release and I recommend to check it out ;-)

Of course, we should have a Plasma release party! We haven't had release parties in our place for a while (can't believe that the last one is over 2 years ago...), so it's time to do that again.

Check the release party page for details. The short of it:
  • October 18, 19:00-22:00 or so
  • EldenaerStrasse 28a, Berlin, Germany
  • Bring Your Own Devices Drinks (there's a Spätie (24h convenience store) downstairs). Food is welcome, too.
  • Don't forget to bring your good mood and friends

Further notes:
  • I might do some demoing of what is new in Plasma 5.1, depending on interest.
  • Anybody is welcome, as always, irrespective of color, sex, occupation, shape - heck, even species - you're all super welcome! That means you have to play nice with each other, do I have to say that?
  • If you're afraid of dogs, Popcorn will teach you that you don't have to be. But really, if she freaks you out, we can put her in another room, don't say home out of fear for the hairy monster!
  • Let me know if you're coming - so we have some idea of how crowded our apartment will be!

openSUSE

For the geekos among you: 13.2 is coming SOON and boy, is it chock-full of awesomeness! I'm talking to the Berlin LUG, we will probably do a release party. If possible we'll do it on November 8, so keep that date free for now!

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opensuseasiasummitThis weekend is the start of openSUSE’s first Asia Summit in Beijing.

The summit, which is a follow on to an open source summit SUSE sponsored in May, is expected to increase awareness in Asia about openSUSE and other Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Students, professors and computer technologists attending the summit will listen to several keynote speakers like Dr. Qiu Shanqin, Chairman of China Open Source Software Promotion Union, and Ralf Flaxa, Vice President of SUSE. Richard Brown, President of the openSUSE board, will also provide a keynote speech to attendees.

Noteable workshops scheduled for the conference on Day 1 are SUSE’s project manager Anja Stock’s about Bugzilla, FOSS community member Eleanor Chen, about Hands-on into Open Source Community, and Saurabh Sood, an engineer working with Unisys Corporation, about Programming with the Qt Framework.

Day 2 workshops include GNOME Foundation member Tong Hui’s discussion on Open Source Community Governance in China, Raghu Nayyar, an open-source Interaction Designer and Front-end Developer from India.givng a workshop on Build your First ownCloud App, and Meaglith Ma, founder of the Chinese community of Docker, providing a workshop about open platforms for distributing applications for developers and system administrators.

The summit gives attendees an opportunity to learn about related technologies and can help to unlock the large potiential of open source contributors and developers within Asia.

Interviews and recordings of openSUSE Asia Summit will be posted on SUSE’s YouTube, Youku and GooglePlus page.

HP, SUSE, Firefox, CODE, CSDN, BLUG, GNOME Summit, OwnCloud, BeiHang University and Beijing University all sponsored the event; openSUSE appreciates the companys’ contributions and willingness to make the first summit a success.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the summit and should email opensuse.asia@gmail.com.

Enjoy the Summit!

 


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I want YOU!With less than three weeks from the release of our beloved green distro and the first release candidate already rocking, we can feel like we are almost there. This is exactly the right time to remember that there is still a lot of work to do and fun to have. Open source is awesome, but only as awesome as the people working on it. Nothing will happen unless YOU make it happen, so it’s time to get your hands dirty!

Testing

Every openSUSE release is tested using openQA, which saves developers from trivial and repetitive work. But in order to reach the quality level we all love from openSUSE stable releases much more testing is needed. We would like to test every single combination of hardware -from netbooks to supercomputers- and options -from default values to the most geeky weird configurations-. So please take a look to the online spreadsheet that has been created to organize the manual testing, read the instructions about coordinating the effort and hunt all those nasty bugs!

Celebrating awesomeness

We want to let the world know how awesome openSUSE 13.2 is. That means writing a public announcement, a features guide, a press kit, social messages… What do all those initiatives have in common? They are all based on the major features page at the openSUSE wiki. So please visit the wiki and add your favorite 13.2 feature to that page. What have you being working on since 13.1? What feature blew your mind when you saw it in action? Why were you waiting for that particular version of your favorite tool? If it’s not in the major features page, it didn’t happen.

Taking pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words. Release Candidate 1 already includes the final artwork for openSUSE 13.2, so it’s time to renew the screenshots in the corresponding openSUSE wiki page and to add new ones. You don’t even need to take the screenshots yourself, openQA is full of pictures you can grab. Say cheese!

Highlighting the strengths

The already mentioned announcement and features guide are both great to have a clear overview of what is coming with the new release. But those teams that have hit a major milestone in openSUSE 13.2 maybe want to ensure that the achievement is not lost in the stream of shiny new things. Before (and even after) every release we use to publish several sneak peaks focused on concrete highlights. Just think about a worthy topic you are familiar with (btrfs and snapper, desktop environments, xfs…) and the openSUSE Marketing Team will be glad to help you turning it into a nice article.

Documenting

Is always nice to have somebody to ask when you find a problem, but is even nicer if you have all the pitfalls and important changes documented in advance. That’s what our release notes are for. As explained by Karl in the Factory mailing list, the release notes are


Wednesday
15 October, 2014


Michael Meeks: 2014-10-15: Wednesday

21:00 UTCmember

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  • Up early; mail chew, interesting breakfast with the Krita guy. Freshened up, met up with Eliane & Olivier, coach to the dam; got the booth setup; partner call. Lunch with Olivier; booth duty. Enjoyed the opening talks; back to the booth to re-charge. Out in the evening for dinner, kindly driven by Artur.

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Following up on KDE’s announcement of the latest stable release, we have now packages available for 12.3 and 13.1 (a 13.2 repository will be made available after it is out). You will find them in the KDE:Current repository. Current users of this repository will get the new release automatically once they update.

Why you should upgrade? You can take a look at the list of changes to get an idea. These fixes touch many important KDE applications, including KMail, Okular and Dolphin.

Packages are also on their way to openSUSE Factory.

As usual, bugs with the packaging should be reported to openSUSE and upstream bugs should be reported to KDE.

Also, if you like what KDE is doing and you feel you can not contribute directly, you may want to support this end of year fundraiser.


Tuesday
14 October, 2014


Michael Meeks: 2014-10-14: Tuesday

21:00 UTCmember

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  • Chewed some mail, great things going on while I'm asleep: seemingly I should sleep / wander off more often. Hacked a little on my backlog of things that need work.
  • Flight to FOZ, Brazil appears to be a lovely place; hacked on the flight, taxi to the hotel, hacked in the hotel at length - fun. Mail chew too; call with partner . Poked at tiled rendering foo until late; sleep.

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oSA14

Geckos are taking over China, at the openSUSE Asia Summit to be held this coming weekend in Beijing. It is the first time that an openSUSE event of this scale is being held so far east of the Geeko Meridian. The organizing committee has worked their socks off for the event, and things are shaping up well. The schedule is ready and their are some great talks lined up. Overall, it promises to be a great event. As for me, I am going to speak about the Google Summer of Code, openSUSE Activities in India and a workshop on the Qt Framework.So, see you in Beijing ;)

http://summit.opensuse.org

3654543066_2c8823cb03_o-e1363960517132



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你好 北京!

Hello Beijing and lovely people of openSUSE, I will be reaching there tomorrow, will be at Green Tree Inn close to the summit venue, packing some “sightseeing” before the event, if you are also there early drop me a line . There is a short talk about openSUSE Education scheduled on 19th. Check out the summit website to find out what other interesting stuff is on offer.

See you soon…

oSA14

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